For some time the idea has circulated that Sde-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho, the Fifth Dalai Lama’s regent, was also the latter’s son. While a number of Western historians have accepted this story, recent scholarship, mostly from Tibet and China, has rejected it, based most conclusively on a sound analysis of the chronology of the Fifth Dalai Lama’s absence from Tibet and the time of birth of the regent. Almost all modern scholars have agreed that the rumor is unmentioned in contemporaneous Tibetan sources. However, with the publication of Sle-lung Bzhad-pa’i rdo-rje’s autobiography a source from the period in question that mentions the rumor has finally become accessible. Nevertheless, the context in which the story appears anchors it in the hostility and resentment over the recognition of Ngag-dbang blo-bzang rgya-mtsho as the Fifth Dalai Lama and places it with other allegations meant to impugn the hierarch’s legitimacy. As such, it doesn’t trump the solid chronological case for rejecting the rumor of the regent’s blood tie to the Dalai Lama.
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